For the first two months, Delicias Cake Shop Cafe has seen its business attract new customers after opening up at its new location.

The bakery, which is run by Odessan Roy Portillo, is located at 4101 E. 42nd St, Suite 141 in Odessa near Music City Mall. It is located near Five Guys and Lowe’s Home Improvement.

The shop opened its new doors last month and since then, Portillo says business has been running smoothly.

“Everything has been pretty good,” Portillo said. “It’s been really busy. It’s getting a lot better than when we first started.”

Portillo graduated from Permian High School in 2016 before graduating from Odessa College three years later.

His first thought was to open a restaurant. However, it wasn’t long before he changed his mind to opening a bakery, since baking was more enjoyable to him.

Owner of Delicias Cake Shop Cafe Roy Portillo prepares a custom cake in the kitchen of his bakery Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Odessa. (Eli Hartman|Odessa American)

“When I first started school, I was thinking about opening a restaurant. It’s always been one of my dreams,” Portillo said. “But when I got my baking certificate, I took those classes and I really enjoyed it and I was thinking that I should change my mind and just do baking. I think it’s so much fun. It’s really different than the restaurant industry. These take a lot of patience and you need to be really careful with the ingredients because if you mess up something, there’s going to be problems. But it’s fun.”

One of the main reasons why Portillo chose to open a bakery instead of a restaurant was a slightly better work schedule.

Although Portillo is usually at Delicias, working all day, he says it’s easier compared to the stress of owning a restaurant.

“Running a restaurant, you’re there 24/7,” Portillo said. “At a bakery, you just have to be here really early to start baking. The baking industry is easier because you don’t have to be here 24/7. You come and bake and hire someone to take care of customer services (later in the afternoon) so you don’t have to be there all day.”

Before moving to its new location, Portillo ran the business from his home.

The bakery offers all kinds of custom cakes that include most signature flavors such as carrot, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.

“We also have a big variety of the mini desserts like mini margaritas, strawberry covered chocolate … We also have a big variety of the frappes and ice coffees,” Portillo said.

Niece of Roy Portillo, Danna Portillo prepares a customer’s order while working the front counter Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, at Delicias Cake Shop Cafe. (Eli Hartman|Odessa American)

The bake shop is open every day from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. and serves breakfast from 7 a.m.-11 a.m.

The store’s breakfast menu includes the usual items such as doughnuts, but also breakfast kolaches, ham and cheese croissants, as well as avocado toast.

The work day starts as early as 6 a.m. for Portillo, to finish preparing breakfast.

“We mostly get all of our prep things ready at night so that we can come in and start making breakfast items,” Portillo said. “We make breakfast kolaches and Danish donuts. We try to have some of the work already made so we don’t have to do a lot in the mornings.”

One of the shop’s specialties is a marzipan tres leches cake, but another popular item is the horchata tres leches cake, an item that’s usually gone pretty quick.

“I know a lot of Hispanic people around the area and everyone likes that,” Portillo said of the horchata tres leches cake. “I found a good recipe for it and I’ve been working on it for a long time. When I first got it, we started selling a lot of it and it’s one of our timeless favorites at the bakery.”

They’ll have cakes available even in slices.

“We do about two, three whole cakes every day and also for slices and we run out of it pretty fast,” Portillo said.

Danna Portillo, right, takes payment from Albert and Joseph Tenorio while working the front counter Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, at Delicias Cake Shop Cafe. (Eli Hartman|Odessa American)

Last month’s opening weekend was busy.

“We were giving samples and people were so excited about that because they were like ‘this is so good,’” Portillo said. “That allowed us to really be seen.”

Portillo’s bakery is in a busy part of town, located behind the mall and besides other businesses.

“We have pretty good potential at this building,” Portillo said. “We have a lot of traffic from Lowe’s, Five Guys and the mall. … It is a good location. Whenever we were deciding where to open the place, we were looking around and we think this was the best selection to do.”

For Portillo, it’s been nice to own his own business. It’s a lot of work but for him, it’s worth it.

“I really enjoy having my own business because I like to be training people because I want to make the people learn a lot more,” Portillo said. “I’m proud of my team because I’ve been training them like crazy. They can do more than I expect. That’s one of the other things that I really like.”

Seeing his business grow, Portillo’s advice to anyone wanting to work in the baking industry is to never give up.

“If you start from a small thing, you can get bigger,” Portillo said. “We started on a small storage at home. We were there for two years and then I was working at the restaurant industry for six years. Don’t give up on your dreams. If you have something in mind, you can do it. It’s not hard if you focus.”

How to find it

  • What: Delicias Cake Shop Cafe.
  • Where: Behind the Music City Mall near Five Guys and Lowes.